Dear Homeless Voice Supporter:
I have been writing stories about us needing help and I still have to do this because as most of you know we are losing cities where we cannot sell the paper in or they only allow us to do very few non busy streets. I am sorry this is a long letter but it is an EMERGENCY.
I truly say “Thank You” for giving to us in these buckets all these years and you have contributed millions over the 15 years, but now we must think a little bit different. Your bucket contributions have paid for over four million dollars in property allowing us to own all our property with no loans. We have beds in three different countries and we (meaning you and I) have dewormed essentially almost the entire worst part of Haiti where the kids drink sewer water. In addition we were one of the first not for profits that South Com (our military) let fly a commercial jet into Haiti as aid from the earthquake, with 70 surgeons on board and antibiotics for 30,000 people. We have done all this because you buy our paper. Now we need you the most because I cannot hold on much longer. People, I need you now.
Because of the cities like Pembroke Pines and Miramar we already had to close our main office down. Also let me tell you the main office was converted to an emergency family dorm when the police bring in homeless families. The same dorm that these cities bring their homeless families to is now closed because the same cities outlawed our paper from being distributed.
I am sure you have seen the faces of our homeless friends. These faces are the ones the governmental shelters turned away. Maybe they were full and could not figure out how to use their offices for beds in an emergency or perhaps the homeless person was not going to be able to graduate their programs. They get grants and must follow certain rules; whereas, we do not and that is why we can take just about anyone who comes our way.
I started this Agency 15 years ago and a lot of you became familiar with us because of our “Homeless Voice Newspaper,” for this is the only funding we get. We sell about 80,000 papers a month and those funds have started about 14 agencies consisting of our Homeless Shelters, our Disaster Agency, our Agency that gets emergency medical supplies to the children of Haiti, and our Agency that has beds for Haitian HIV orphans. We even have our own medical outreach division where we have an ambulance where we go out and treat the homeless. In the beginning, we had a lot of extra funds so we put it to good use by opening up more programs and agencies to help those in need.
When we landed in Haiti for the earthquake in a joint venture with another agency, all I could do was thank the people who bought our papers. I was so thankful that we had plenty of funds that we were actually able to save humans from dying. Again, all because we distribute our “Homeless Voice Newspaper.”
I am reaching out to you now to tell you this all may be gone very soon. As stated we only get funds from us creating the newspaper and distributing it to the public. Not only do we sell the paper for a donation, but we bring the homeless to the people who buy it, therefore, educating the general public about homeless issues and proving that the stereo-type that homeless people do not want to work and are lazy is wrong. Homeless people are not lazy people. The issue of hate crimes to the homeless has been fully exposed by our newspaper. All this has been so great over the years, but soon to be all gone.
We are losing cities. The cities that once allowed us to distribute our papers at street corners are now making it a crime. Yet, in some cities they allow their firemen to collect money but arrest our vendors. They claim it is about safety, yet when they make these laws they allow their own VOTE FOR ME SIGNS to be held at street corners when they run for local office. They claim selling a paper is dangerous, yet more kids are hurt or killed in high school sports than selling a newspaper. They do not make it a crime to play football nor should they because I too played dangerous sports, and it is a personal decision. In fact, they encourage these sports and spend lots of tax dollars getting their teams to win. Trust me, as we get copies of their internal emails we see it is about the word “homeless” not “safety.” The fact that the people who are doing the complaining could really use a copy of our Homeless Voice Newspaper so they know the homeless are Vets from wars, our heroes, or people who have a hard time keeping a job because of depression. Lately, it has been a lot of people who lost everything because of the economy.
The reason we have been so good at helping the homeless is because of this Homeless Voice Newspaper that is soon to be all gone. It is because people like you have helped us by giving us a donation for the newspaper. We did sue the last city. We are suing the City of Pembroke Pines and any other city that tries to stop us from selling our newspaper. We have no other choice at this time but to defend ourselves in court.
What makes the matter worse is that for every city that has made it illegal to sell the paper we have served that city by taking their homeless. The city police department drops off their homeless to our doors and at the same time tells us if you distribute the paper in our city we will take you to jail. It is not the officers; it is the political leaders who make the law for the police to enforce. Sounds like we have been used for years and still are being used by the cities. That is ok, they can use us as much as they want and we will continue to take their homeless even when they pass laws saying you cannot sell the paper or give it out for free.
I know you want to help, but for now we must all think about keeping this place and all other programs and agencies we have in business. If we cannot, there will be no volunteering in the future for there will be no shelter whatsoever. When I type these words I am so sad. Advocates who have been around for years have always told me that there is a war on the poor and now I see it is true. So come and help us win this war.
We need you to become a volunteer coordinator in which your position will set the future for this shelter. We have no other option at this time. You will work when you want and you can work from wherever you want. You can be our PR person. Do you believe there are still people in the community that do not even think we have a shelter? Do you believe there are still people in the community that think all we do is collect money in the street and that is it? I have been in the news at least 150 times, and people see us doing outreach or go to Haiti. Then there are others who just do not know we are the real deal. It will become your job to invite them in to see where the money goes. We will ask you to help us come up with ways to stay in business.
There are several ways to do this, below is an example. Whatever we do it is most important to have people make their monthly pledges. We do need to know how much money will be coming in each month. This way we will not have to open and close beds each time there is a money issue. It costs a lot of money to keep opening and closing beds based on population. So we are asking that people pledge and send in their checks monthly or to make an auto payment out of their checking account each month. People can even text a donation. Our budget is anywhere from $90,000 to $120,000 per month based on population. So we will use the number $100,000 is what we need per month. Now how can this be done? It is simple! Start with yourself if you can afford it, and then spread the word to others. Look at the ways below and see how easy it could be to save this shelter system.
If we had 25,000 people to send in their checks for $5.00 per month we would be fine.
Or if we had 10,000 people to send in their checks for $10.00 per month we would be fine.
See it is very easy for us together to do this. It can be done we just need to put our minds together.
There are many ways to help, please go to www.homelessvoice.org
I have tried writing stories in the paper asking for people to do this but it is very slow. They are giving us money on the streets and plenty of it, but we only have about 400 people who have made monthly pledges. Maybe because they still see our people on the corners, but that will only last a little longer. We do not know if we will lose all the cities, but we are losing the ones that we sell more papers in. Now is the time to convert to send in check donations for it is so important and critical! It is an emergency as you can read on the internet for cities have taken us off the streets like Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Oakland Park, Weston, and more to follow. We are joining other papers in this fight who have the same issues as us. We all have heard “you cannot fight city hall.” We will be fighting city hall for this is a war on the poor. Besides they have their nerve to do this to us since we have been there for them taking their homeless for all these years.
We ask that you directly help us stay in business and we need you now more than ever.
If you start by asking your friends and family to sign up for monthly pledges, we will make it! We want to make it just like Amway network marketing. As you sign up, then you get your friends and family to sign up, and then they go out and get their friends and family to sign up. Please have them come by and see where their money goes. It does not matter if they are willing to donate 50 cents each month. Even 50 cents allows us to know we will get the 50 cents each and every month. Each month we get real small checks and I must tell you I ask God to bless those givers for I know it is a hard donation to give based on their fixed income and you must respect that giver as much as the person who sends in a few hundred dollars.
The above recommendations are just suggested, but if you go to our web site you may want to do another option or even just a one-time donation for your friends and families. You can also go to www.homelessvoice.org
To read about the cities such as Pembroke Pines please go to:
Also to see what we really do go to this story written about ten years ago. It is a three page story that was in the Sun-Sentinel. It is about Johnny McCormick. He was my first client at this shelter that I started. In fact, he died recently, and we renamed the main shelter “The John McCormick Homeless Shelter” for he is the reason this place has lasted so long. He was put here by God showing me the way to help his other homeless friends. Below is also a video about myself and my best friend Johnny.
Story in the Sun-Sentinel
Story of when my best friend died
Remembering our John
I am sorry this is a little long, and I am sorry I have put some links in this letter but I think it is so important to see what we really do. I want you to understand just how important it is for this place to be here forever.
Checks can be made payable to
COSAC Homeless Shelters
P.O. Box 292-577
Davie, Florida 33329
Dear Homeless Voice Supporter
Dear Homeless Voice Supporter: